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Friday, May 26, 2017

Saudi Arabia and terrorism: more than 94 percent of deaths caused by Islamic terrorism since 2001 were perpetrated by the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other Sunni (Wahhabi] jihadists

    Friday, May 26, 2017   No comments
The Islamic State draws its beliefs from Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi version of Islam. As the former imam of the kingdom’s Grand Mosque said last year, the Islamic State “exploited our own principles, that can be found in our books. . . . We follow the same thought but apply it in a refined way.” Until the Islamic State could write its own textbooks for its schools, it adopted the Saudi curriculum as its own.

Saudi money is now transforming European Islam. Leaked German intelligence reports show that charities “closely connected with government offices” of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait are funding mosques, schools and imams to disseminate a fundamentalist, intolerant version of Islam throughout Germany.


source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/saudi-arabia-just-played-donald-trump/2017/05/25/d0932702-4184-11e7-8c25-44d09ff5a4a8_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.82b970e26b22
 
Trump summoned authoritarian Arab and Muslim rulers for 3 summits in Riyadh

Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump's Sword dancing and saber rattling in Saudi Arabia, homeland of nearly all of the 9/11 attackers

    Monday, May 22, 2017   No comments
The contrast couldn't be greater: In Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump joined in the sword dance - a dance of war, as King Salman explained to his American guest. And in Iran, the people were dancing in the streets to celebrate the landslide victory of moderate reformer Hassan Rouhani in the presidential election, and the rejection of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi.

Despite, or maybe even because of the war dance, the mood in Saudi Arabia is also one of joy and celebration. Trump's speech on Sunday has been seen as turning the page on US relations with the Arab world generally, and Saudi Arabia in particular. It didn't just mark the end of the Obama administration's critical stance on the kingdom, it also declared its geostrategic adversary, Iran, to be the biggest villain in the region - one best left in isolation, as it was during the George W. Bush era. And because isolation alone might not have been enough, Trump arrived bearing arms contracts worth some $110 billion (98 billion euros) for his hosts - a deal of historic proportions.

No vision of peace

It's a bitter irony that, while visiting the homeland of nearly all of the 9/11 attackers, Trump singled out Iran alone for supporting terrorism. He made no mention of the fact that Riyadh has been supporting the so-called "Islamic State" and other jihadist groups with money and arms, as former US Vice President Joe Biden made clear in a speech he gave at Harvard University in the fall of 2014.
... source

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WaPo

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Saudi Arabia working to impress Donald Trump on his first overseas visit

    Thursday, May 18, 2017   No comments
Trump’s decision to make Saudi Arabia his first overseas stop sends a powerful message to the kingdom: the strained ties that marked U.S.-Saudi relations under President Barack Obama are over.

Saudi Arabia is making every effort to dazzle and impress President Donald Trump on his first overseas trip, seizing on the visit to cement itself as a major player on the world stage and shove aside rival Iran.

The kingdom has arranged a dizzying schedule of events for the two days Trump will be in town — inviting figures as varied as Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, Bret Baier, a host on the Fox News Channel that is popular with Trump and his supporters, and American country singer Toby Keith who is to perform for a male-only crowd in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Trump’s decision to make Saudi Arabia his first overseas stop sends a powerful message to the kingdom: the strained ties that marked U.S.-Saudi relations under President Barack Obama are over.

The kingdom wants Trump to align U.S. interests with Saudi Arabia’s — and is literally counting down the seconds until Trump starts his meetings Saturday. A website for the visit was launched in English, Arabic and French, featuring a countdown clock under the banner: “Together We Prevail.”

“The foundation will be laid for a new beginning” to confront extremist ideology, the website declares, while also touting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 a wide-reaching reform plan launched by King Salman’s ambitious son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to overhaul the economy and restyle the country through greater openings for investment and entertainment. source

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Turkish leaders feel betrayed by the Trump administration's choosing Kurdish fighters as partners in its fight against ISIS over Turkey

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017   No comments
ISR comment: Turkish officials outraged by the US decision to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters. Erdogan, who will be meeting Trump soon, may return set to make a strategic move in terms of his regional and international alliances. A major shift is signaled by the unprecedented reaction to the White House's decision: Turkey's president, prime minister, and foreign minister, all, released harsh statements asking the US administration to rescind its decision, which is very unlikely to happen.
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Turkey warns U.S. of blowback from decision to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria

Turkey warned the United States on Wednesday that a decision to arm Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Syria could end up hurting Washington, and accused its NATO ally of siding with terrorists.

The rebuke came a week before President Tayyip Erdogan is due in Washington for his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, who approved the arms supply to support a campaign to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State.

Turkey views the YPG as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984 and is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Turkey and Europe.

"We want to believe that our allies will prefer to side with us, not with a terrorist organization," Erdogan told a news conference in Ankara, saying he would convey Turkey's stance to Trump next week and at a NATO summit later this month.

He said he hoped that recently taken decisions would be changed by the time he visits the United States.

Earlier, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters the U.S. failure to consider Turkey's sensitivities "will surely have consequences and will yield a negative result for the U.S. as well".

The United States regards the YPG as a valuable partner in the fight against Islamic State militants in northern Syria. Washington says that arming the Kurdish forces is necessary to recapturing Raqqa, Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria and a hub for planning attacks against the West.

That argument holds little sway with Ankara, which worries that advances by the YPG in northern Syria could inflame the PKK insurgency on Turkish soil.

source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-usa-turkey-idUSKBN1860SG

Thursday, May 4, 2017

UN scrutinizes Saudi Arabia's anti-terror laws and Prince Turki Al-Faisal's alternative facts

    Thursday, May 04, 2017   No comments
UN scrutinizes Saudi Arabia's anti-terror laws

A UN rights expert has been given unprecedented access to review the Saudi kingdom's terrorist legislation. However, he has been denied access to journalists and rights activists detained on terror charges.
After a series of meetings with kingdom's senior prosecutors, UN Rapporteur Ben Emmerson reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia's counter-terrorism laws present an "extremely mixed" picture.

In his preliminary findings, Emmerson expressed grave concerns that Saudi Arabia's legislation contained an "unacceptably broad definition" of terror-related crimes that suppressed free speech and did not comply with international standards.

"I strongly condemn the use of counter-terrorism legislation and penal sanctions against individuals peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression", religion, or association," he said. Source









Video of Prince Turki Al-Faisal and his alternative facts

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Here is why no government should ever be trusted with human rights protection: governments are always the culprit when it comes to HR abuses

    Wednesday, May 03, 2017   No comments
The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia, “the world’s most misogynistic regime,” to a 2018-2022 term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

“Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s absurd — and morally reprehensible.”

“This is a black day for women’s rights, and for all human rights,” said Neuer. Interview: Why Saudis Joined Women’s Rights Body

“Saudi discrimination against women is gross and systematic in law and in practice. Every Saudi woman,” said Neuer, “must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death. Saudi Arabia bans women from driving cars. Why did the U.N. choose the world’s leading oppressor of women to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women?”


Saudi women feel betrayed by the UN. “I wish I could find the words to express how I feel right know. I’m ‘saudi’ and this feels like betrayal,” tweeted a self-described Saudi woman pursuing a doctorate in international human rights law in Australia.

“Today the UN sent a message that women’s rights can be sold out for petro-dollars and politics,” said Neuer, “and it let down millions of female victims worldwide who look to the world body for protection.”

sources: UN Watch, WashPost...

Friday, April 28, 2017

Trump: Saudi Arabia must pay for US protection... Saudi Arabia has not treated us fairly

    Friday, April 28, 2017   No comments
Pro-regime propaganda in Saudi Arabia
President Donald Trump complained on Thursday that U.S. ally Saudi Arabia was not treating the United States fairly and Washington was losing a “tremendous amount of money” defending the kingdom.

In an interview with Reuters, Trump confirmed his administration was in talks about possible visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel in the second half of May. He is due to make his first trip abroad as president for a May 25 NATO summit in Brussels and could add other stops.

"Frankly, Saudi Arabia has not treated us fairly, because we are losing a tremendous amount of money in defending Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Trump’s criticism of Riyadh was a return to his 2016 election campaign rhetoric when he accused the kingdom of not pulling its weight in paying for the U.S. security umbrella.

"Nobody’s going to mess with Saudi Arabia because we’re watching them," Trump told a campaign rally in Wisconsin a year ago. “They’re not paying us a fair price. We’re losing our shirt.”  source

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